I said I’d never do this again (my previous observations from the ketchup aisles can be found here and here) and had been trying to wean myself off taking pictures of the ketchup aisle – but here I am back again. But in my defence, this one is interesting – I promise...

There’s been talk about retailers ensuring availability through a rapid SKU rationalization, but what does this mean in practice? Let’s turn to the ketchup aisle pre- and post-Covid and see what’s changed:

  • The grand rationalization! in 2019 there were 23 SKUs on the shelf – which has dropped to 19 post-Covid, which doesn’t seem a huge drop but the number of facings has dropped 50+%
  • What’s happened to the top shelf? Space allocated to Ketchup has shrunk from 6 full shelves to 4. The top shelf has become a stock storage space to help ensure on shelf availability through-out the day
  • Are premium and H&W losing out? SKU count has dropped from 11 to 7 with but facings dropping by 58%! However, prices have been pushed up from between 6% to 48%!
  • BOGOF! Where are the promotions? This shelf alone had five promo’s in 2019, but none last week

What’s happening in your category on your favourite shelf? Have you noticed a change?

I’m not sure that consumers have really noticed the difference.

What does this mean for your business?

  • Are you taking the opportunity to reset your products, pricing, promotions, portfolio?
  • Are you worried about the threat?
  • Or, have you been too busy to notice?